Journaling is a powerful Habit of Health, but it’s also a habit that can feel strange at first. Pausing your busy day to write in a notebook doesn’t seem like it could help you reach your healthy weight or improve your physical fitness, but it can.
Keeping a journal helps you to become more aware of your thoughts and your choices. It’s a tool for understanding how your mind works so that you can harness your habits. With so much of our daily lives on autopilot, the myriad of daily choices that move us closer (or farther from) optimal wellbeing can be largely invisible. We don’t even realize we are reaching for that can of soda. We don’t think about sitting on the couch after a long day of work.
It’s just what we do.
Journaling takes you out of that automatic mode and forces you to reflect on what happened in a day, bringing awareness to habits that you might not have recognized before. When you have that awareness, you become more mindful, which in turn helps you to build Habits of Health instead of Habits of Disease.
Once you have started journaling, you should continue, but here’s the next step that many people skip: Periodically go back through and re-read your journal.
As you take this journey and create health in your life, you can start to forget just how far you have come and how much you have changed. When you climb a mountain, pushing yourself to take another step up the incline—again and again—can be tiring, and it can feel like the obstacles you face get even more difficult. But how does it feel when you look behind you and see that you have risen above the valley and you are now perched high above the trail you took to get to where you are?
It’s incredible, and it’s invigorating.
If you have been keeping a journal or have been writing in Your LifeBook, take it out today and flip back through your old entries. Then make a new entry about what you learned from reflecting on your past self. Celebrate your progress. Recalibrate your goals. Note where you still struggle and ask your coach for help.
Even if your journey is relatively new, you are likely to uncover some gems that were hiding within your own writing. And don’t forget to keep journaling and to pause again in a few months to read back over your entries.